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What Makes a Killer Sales Presentation?

Sales presentations play a crucial role in growing your business. Having a well-crafted deck is an absolute must in landing new buyers, business partners, and investors.

However, despite the proven results of good presentations, many professionals still idly neglect the effort to make an effective sales deck.

At SlideGenius, we’ve worked with many of the world’s biggest companies. We know what makes a successful sales presentation. Having spent years creating decks that bring out the very best qualities of companies like yours, we know a little something about motivating clients to start buying ASAP.

Here are some tips on how to transform an ordinary deck into a sale-generating machine:

Bring Storytelling into Your Sales Presentation  

Who doesn’t love a good story? In the complex world of sales, stories can leave lasting impressions on clients even more than facts. Statistics often lack context. Stories provide the context that make statistics real. A good PowerPoint presentation is the summer blockbuster of the business world.

Your presentation’s story tells your audience how you can help them be the hero. More than wanting to know the hard data, they want their problems to be solved in some amazing way, their performance to improve beyond belief. Your presentation shows them how your company will make that happen. This will help clients relate with your business on an emotional level.

Consider the three-act structure when building your PowerPoint. The first act is your introduction. It is where compelling problems are raised to contextualize and dramatize your presentation. These should be problems fine-tuned to be recognizable by your intended office. If they don’t feel the pain by the end of the first act of your presentation, they won’t connect to the story.

The second act of your presentation is your where things change, how you help your potential customer defeat this problem. Detail how your business solves the problems established in the introduction. Try pairing your solutions with real life scenarios to clearly illustrate the effects your business creates.

The third act is a strong call to action, how everything in your story begins. You’ll want to discuss financials. If this is an investor deck, talk about projected revenue and your milestones. If this is a sales pitch, discuss your pricing model and guarantees. Above all, know what action you want this person to take next and tell them to do it.

People retain information better with context. Developing the story of your presentation creates that context.

Be Smart with Your Words  

Your choice of words says a lot about who you are. But how much you say determines how much people listen.

Don’t fill your deck with too much information. It’s hardly engaging when your audience is spending most of their time mentally interpreting all the information you’re spewing. Give your key points some room to be properly understood. It will allow you to speak at a controlled pace, making it easier to guide your audience as the presentation progresses.

Well executed sales presentations will boost your business

A tightly written deck also gives you the space to inject impactful visuals into your slides. Some clients may have difficultly visualizing what you are offering. Do that job for them. Pairing your content with the right visual aid will effectively amplify your message while also raising retention rates.

Design Brilliantly   

Simple PowerPoint designs can deliver the biggest impact. We’ve all seen slides that are jam packed. When things start to look too cramped, don’t be afraid to break up the information into multiple slides. This gives your content room to breathe. Overcomplicating designs only creates unnecessary clutter, thus jeopardizing the clarity of your message.

Consider the color, layout, and imagery of your slides as amplifiers to your message. Striking visuals will always be more memorable than bland blocks of text. You can make bits of information easier to understand by translating them into tables or graphs. Having more visually oriented slides also removes the crutch of “script-reading”, a common mistake that happens when presentations are text heavy.

This doesn’t come easily for everyone. In order to get the job done right the first time, it may be best to hire someone. Professional help with your sales presentation can be both affordable and tremendously beneficial in terms of your long-term investment.

SlideGenius Creates Sales Presentations for You

When your work starts to pile up, and you just don’t have the time for it all, let SlideGenius take care of designing your next sales presentation! Whether it’s an animated marketing video, or a PowerPoint presentation, we deliver professionally crafted pitch materials that will help your business grow.

Our work is possible thanks to our phenomenal team of designers, writers, and animators. We’ve worked with over 3,000 clients, honing our design skills to always create exciting presentations that are consistent with unique standards.

The work we do has helped our clients raise hundreds of millions of dollars for their businesses. The achievements earned by our clients are our measures of success. Together, let’s bring your company up to brand new heights! Reach out now to get a free quote on how we can help.

Contact us today!

Extending the Metaphor: 3 Tips for Choosing Images in Prezi

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. For this week’s feature, extend your visual metaphor by carefully curating the images in your design. Take note of these 3 tips for choosing images in Prezi. 

A lot has been written about the role of images in presentation design. Experts always reiterate that adding pictures to your presentations is one of the best ways to get your point across. Instead of filling the screen with a block of text, you can use a single image to highlight the idea you’re trying to convey.

Prezi is already a dynamic presentation tool, but you can still take your designs one step further by choosing the right images. Start by clicking “Insert” from the top menu and selecting “Image”. From there, you can decorate your prezi with pictures saved in your computer or easily search the web for something that perfectly represents your message.

prezi insert image 01

Extend your prezi’s visual metaphor by choosing images that go beyond an aesthetic purpose. Here are 3 tips to make sure that the pictures you use contribute to advancing the story you want to tell:

Use several keywords to find the perfect image

It’s convenient to just choose the first image that pops up, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the right one. Most of the time, the first thing you see is the first thing other people see as well. If you want to use images that are unique to your prezi, you will have to widen your search.

Find the perfect image by using several keywords as search terms. Broad and less specific keywords will get you images that aren’t too common or literal, but they might also yield results that are irrelevant to your theme. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, re-do your search with a different but related keyword. To make it easier, use a term that you commonly associate with the original keyword.

prezi images tip 1

In this example, I tried to search for images around the word “freedom” but couldn’t find one that matched my theme. I searched again using the word “flying” and found an image that works better for the metaphor I’m going for.

Look for images that are simple but poignant

Obviously, the images in your prezi should leave an impact on your audience. Look for ones that depict a strong emotion. Audiences tend to connect with what they find relatable, so try to deviate from overly staged stock photos. If you’re a PRO user, you can extend your search to Flickr. Click on the down arrow beside the search button and adjust the options as you’d like. Just be sure to tick the box that filters out copyrighted materials.

prezi insert image 09

While you’re aiming for drama, it doesn’t mean that you have to go with the most intricate image you find. When it comes to presentation design, simplicity can also be poignant. A picture that’s bold and streamlined is a lot easier on the eyes. Without too many details to distract the audience, it can also quickly attract attention.

Choose an image with plenty of white space. An image that doesn’t have a lot going on will draw focus on only a few elements, making your prezi look less cluttered. White space is particularly important to create balance, which you’ll need if you have plenty of other items in a single frame.

Give all pictures a consistent look with some editing

By using several different images, you might end up with visuals that look disjointed and incoherent. To make sure everything looks consistent, take the time to edit and enhance the look of your pictures. Select the image you want to edit and choose “Effects.”

prezi insert image 04

From there, you’ll have access to a photo editor without having to leave Prezi. Make the necessary adjustments and apply the same (or similar looking) filters to achieve a more consistent look.

prezi insert image 06
Your prezi is sure to stand out if you’re careful about the images you choose. It’s not enough that you decorate your presentation with visuals that are aesthetically pleasing. The images in your prezi should also serve a purpose. Extend your visual metaphor by carefully choosing images that are relevant to your core message.
Featured Image: Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo / Prezi logo via Wikimedia Commons

Visual Storytelling: How Stories are Told in Pictures

Are pictures really worth a thousand words? Let’s take a look at some facts.

According to a whitepaper published by NewCred and Getty Images, the following statistics are proof:

  • 40% of people will respond better to information presented visually
  • 83% of human learning is visual
  • 44% of users are more likely to engage with brands on social platforms if they post pictures
  • Articles and blog posts that contain images get 94% more views than those without

Aside from all that, there’s also proof in the way our mind works. The human brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than information presented through text. In fact, we’re all highly attuned to our sense of sight. According to Dr. John Medina, vision trumps all of our other senses.

With these facts laid out, it’s easy to see why images are important to presentations and marketing materials. Through visual storytelling, you can use pictures to create stronger emotional impact. Pictures can tell a story that immediately allows your audience to connect with the message you’re sharing.

So whether you’re delivering a presentation or revamping your social media profiles, visual storytelling is the best way to go. When selecting pictures to use, try to keep in mind the four key characteristics of visual storytelling:

Authentic

The best stories come from candid moments. It’s why photo sharing has become so prevalent in the age of social media. Replacing the super-polished stock photos are snapshots that allow others to see the world through a more personal perspective. Take, for example, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. Instead of featuring models that are photoshopped to perfection, Dove featured everyday women and challenged today’s absurd beauty standards.

To find images that are more authentic to your story, focus on what your brand stands for. Look for images that convey your identity and experiences as a brand. Next, look for something that will resonate with your audience. Think about the people you’re addressing and what might be authentic for them.

Relevant

Visual storytelling should also take into account what’s happening in the world. After all, your message doesn’t exist in a bubble. It’s contextualized in a milieu—a world where billions of individuals are discovering new things every single day. Make sure your visual stories are relatable and relevant to the audience you want to target. Consider what Oreo did to make the most out of a blackout that interrupted the Super Bowl. For your own visual story, choose images that evoke a sense of time and culture.

Sensory

The only thing better than a picture is the real thing. But since you can’t have real situations on a PowerPoint slide, you’re going to have to settle for the next best thing. Visual storytelling thrives on imagery that can heighten emotions and senses.

Close-up and macro shots are great for showing textures that audiences can almost touch. On the other hand, a long shot can also take your audience into a particular scene, allowing them to experience it through a wider perspective.

Archetypal

Lastly, the best of visual storytelling alludes to narratives that are practically as old as time. If you think about it, you’ll notice that all your favorite stories are tied together by recurring themes and archetypes. These are universal symbols—called such because they can be found across many different countries and cultures. For your visual stories to be a success, you need to take these symbols and turn it into your own.

Find an archetype that relates to your brand and make it your own. Get to know your own new character and find images that correspond to this new version of a well-loved symbol.
Visual storytelling is great technique to use in presentations and marketing efforts.  By weaving imagery together, you can create a story that speaks volumes about your core message.

READ MORE: The Power of Visual Storytelling – NewsCred + Getty Images (Whitepaper)

 

Featured Image: Ravinder M A via Flickr

PowerPoint Design Ideas: Visual Storytelling

Visual storytelling is gaining more and more traction in social media platforms. Users these days are more inclined towards infographics, photos, and videos than purely text-based content, especially during the advent of social media and fast information.

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Brands are wise to take advantage of this trend in their marketing strategies. And you would be too, if you learn to apply visual storytelling in your PowerPoint design.

The importance of visual storytelling

Humans are highly visual creatures. We’re naturally attracted to beautiful colors and interesting patterns. In fact, our brain is able to process images 60,000 times faster than information presented in text. It’s also easier for us to retain visual information. According to Dr. John Medina, after three days, we’re able to recall 65% of information if it was presented with images or illustrations.

So if you’re presenting information that’s bulky with data, the audience will thank you if you can integrate comprehensible illustrations. Take the usual charts and graphs a step further by weaving stories through imagery.

Integrating visuals to enhance core message

There’s more to visual storytelling than sticking random pictures to your slides. Your statistics won’t make much sense if the visuals you add only serve an aesthetic purpose. Visual storytelling is about using different media that contribute to the message you’re presenting.

As an example, here’s a small part of an interactive infographic by Collaborative Fund, Hyperakt and Start Up American Partnership:

Visual storytelling - car sharing infographic

The infographic, which you can view in full here, showcases the positive effects of car sharing to the environment. It offers a lot of statistics that are perfectly illustrated to create more impact. It’s hard to imagine the difference a vague number makes but through this illustration, you can perfectly see how much carbon dioxide emissions have diminished.

Here’s another example, this time, from a Facebook post by Intel:

Visual storytelling by Intel-Facebook
Screen cap by Social Media Examiner

Intel showcases their brand identity while adding a bit of humor at the same time. For your PowerPoint design, make sure you choose pictures with interesting narratives. There’s always a rare gem in the sea of cheesy stock photos. Especially if you know where to look.

Your text-based, bullet point-ridden PowerPoint design isn’t helping anyone. It’s not engaging your audience, and it’s not helping you get your message across. Instead, you should consider taking inspiration from visual storytelling. Showcase and illustrate your key points with visual elements, and your PowerPoint design will have more impact.

If you need help, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Our professional PowerPoint designers will be happy to take your ideas and turn them into reality.

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Featured Image: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr